This morning I was out in a small boat on big Lake Superior. It had been way too long since I took a sea kayak down to the rocky North Shore and paddled along those cliffs and beaches.
At Tettegouche State Park, I drove in just past the visitor center to a small parking lot by the Baptism River. From there, I carried my boat about 150 yards down to the mouth of the Baptism (Funny, last time I did that 20 years ago it was a whole lot easier).
Once I squeezed myself through the hatch and into the boat, I floated with the Baptism current out into the open lake. What an amazing treat to round the bend and see the cliffs rise up before me. Palisade Head loomed in the distance, big even from a mile away.
It's a good thing it was such a calm and warm day. I wasn't wearing a wetsuit, I have no bilge pump, and I am not able to do the Eskimo roll. And I was alone. My only safety back-up was to stay close to shore and watch for beaches I could quickly swim to and get out of the water.
Along the short stretch of shoreline within the state park, there were three larger beaches and four or five more tiny little coves reachable only by water. The rocky points range from dark, smooth black basalt to funky, angular red rhyolite. Here and there, the swells found small hollows to thump inside. Two modern dwellings loom high over the shoreline, and then there is one intact fish camp right on the water's edge.
It was a short paddle west along the shore to Palisade Head, where I tucked into one of the sea caves. How cool that was, to be covered by rock and cradled by water.